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Hamilton lands third world title in Austin

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Monday 26th October, 2015 - 9:46am

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Lewis Hamilton celebrates third world title

Lewis Hamilton celebrates third world title

Lewis Hamilton wrapped up his third Formula 1 world championship with victory in a thrilling United States Grand Prix.

Held on a damp Circuit of the Americas, the Mercedes driver was forced to come from behind on more than one occasion to claim the win and the championship.

With the title battle seemingly set to continue on to the Mexican Grand Prix, Hamilton made the most of rival Nico Rosberg running wide at Turn 16 with eight laps remaining to enjoy an unchallenged run to the chequered flag.

Rosberg was forced to settle for second with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel close behind in third.

Hamilton’s third world championship, after his 2008 and 2014 triumphs, sees him become the 10th driver to achieve the feat. It also equals the number of championships won by his idol Ayrton Senna.

“It’s just incredible to equal Ayrton,” said Hamilton.

“My target was always three titles as he was the one who inspired me. There is no one I want to equal now – I just want to carry on as far and long as I can.

“For any driver, you want to win in anything you compete in – but this is the ultimate goal.”

The race began with the two Mercedes drivers duelling on the run to the first corner with Hamilton squeezing pole sitter Rosberg to take the lead.

As a result of the move, Rosberg dropped to fifth but he soon jumped back to second following a virtual Safety Car period caused by a clash between Sauber team-mates Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.

The Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Danill Kvyat, that started third and fourth, soon latched onto the Mercedes duo to create a four-way fight for the lead.

It wasn’t long before Ricciardo shot to the front with Rosberg moving by Hamilton, relegating the championship leader to third as the track began to dry.

Hamilton responded by pitting for soft dry tyres followed by Rosberg, which allowed the pair to move back to the front as the Red Bulls struggled on the slick rubber.

Rosberg had built up a healthy lead over Hamilton before the Safety Car was deployed to retrieve Ericsson’s car which had come to halt on track.

Racing resumed for a brief moment until a collision between Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg saw the introduction of a second virtual Safety Car.

This gave Hamilton the lead as Rosberg elected to pit.

Although the Brit would rejoin behind his opposite number when he pitted under another Safety Car period just laps later, following a race ending crash for Kvyat.

The interruption set up a grandstand finish between Rosberg and Hamilton which was only decided by a mistake from the leader eight laps from the end.

In the end only 12 cars finished the race with Max Verstappen producing an impressive final stint to secure fourth ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez with Carlos Sainz in sixth.

Sainz was demoted to seventh following a five second penalty for speeding in pit lane, promoting McLaren’s Jenson Button to sixth.

Pastor Maldonado, Nasr and Ricciardo completed the top 10.

Fernando Alonso, who had been running as high as fifth before an engine issue, and Manor’s Alexander Rossi were the remaining classified finishers.

Result: Formula 1 United States Grand Prix

Position Driver Team Laps Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 56
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 56 +2.850s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 56 +3.381s
4 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 56 +22.359s
5 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 56 +24.413s
6 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 56 +28.058s
7 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 56 +30.619s
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 56 +32.273s
9 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 56 +40.257s
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 56 +53.371s
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 56 +54.816s
12 Alexander Rossi Marussia/Ferrari 56 +1:15.277s
DNF Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 41 Spin
DNF Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 35 Collision
DNF Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 25 Brakes
DNF Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 25 Retirement
DNF Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 23 Retirement
DNF Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 10 Brakes
DNF Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 5 Retirement
DNF Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1 Retirement

Championship Standings

Position Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 327
2 Sebastian Vettel 251
3 Nico Rosberg 247
4 Kimi Räikkönen 123
5 Valtteri Bottas 111
6 Felipe Massa 109
7 Daniil Kvyat 76
8 Daniel Ricciardo 74
9 Sergio Pérez 64
10 Max Verstappen 45
11 Romain Grosjean 44
12 Nico Hülkenberg 38
13 Felipe Nasr 27
14 Pastor Maldonado 26
15 Carlos Sainz 18
16 Jenson Button 16
17 Fernando Alonso 11
18 Marcus Ericsson 9
19 Roberto Merhi 0
20 Alexander Rossi 0
21 Will Stevens 0

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